Murlaggan’s gold

There’s not much left of the ancient graveyard, a few stones possibly marker stones in the past, an overgrown stone wall that could have been an enclosure for graves or for sheep, a giant ash tree bearing the sign: And of course, there is the cairn, erected by Canadian descendants of the MacMillans that once live here and emigrated to Canada after the disastrous defeat at Culloden in 1746.

killed by his own clan

This is a beautiful story of family, power and death and as so many Scottish clan stories, it does not come with a happy ending. the young pretender There was once a young man, the youngest son of Allan MacDonald, 4th Chief of Clanranald, who died in 1505. His name was Ranald and he was... Continue Reading →

one last handshake for the king

The Chisholms came from France originally, as did many nobles in the past; the Normans first settled in the Borders and only later moved to the Beauly area. By marriage of Alexander de Chisholme to Margaret, Lady of Erchless, Erchless castle (now a private property) became the ancestral home of the clan, its chieftains were... Continue Reading →

the Laird’s lively loins

Kilmarie has traditionally been a Mackinnon stronghold, and there are still many Mackinnons buried in the old graveyard behind Kilmarie House on the Strathaird estate, now managed by the John Muir Trust. It lies between Loch Slapin and Loch Scavaig on the Isle of Skye and as so many of these old burial sites it... Continue Reading →

the burial site of the Cameron chiefs

The burial site is not easy to find for those who are neither Camerons nor locals. It is hidden a few hundred yards behind Achnacarry castle. Nothing indicates where these iron gates lead to, no sign at all to what seems just an overgrown path leading gently uphill. Obviously, not many people come here.

a holy well and generous offspring

One thing seems to be peculiar about places in Banffshire: they tend to change names over time. This applies to Macduff and Gardenstown as well as to Botriphnie. The name of the village is of Pictish origin (Both Draighnigh), locals still use it to denote the parish. The place itself is now called Drummuir wich... Continue Reading →

an axe wound, mass murder and lust

St Clement’s church, Rodel, Isle of Harris St Clement’s was built as a catholic church under David I, probably by one of the MacLeods of Harris but falling into disuse soon after completion. The Reformation had put an end to Catholicism on the island. It had most likely been a priory, two allegedly excisted on... Continue Reading →

trysts and leylines

History Albeit feeling rather small, Crieff is one of the largest towns in Perthshire. The dominating force behind the settlement were the Earls of Perth. The Earl being traditionally the chief of clan Drummond, therefore Crieff was known as Drummond in the 17th century.  After having been destroyed in 1716 by Jacobites fighting at Sheriffmuir... Continue Reading →

in the supermarket’s car park

Saint Clement's burial ground, Dingwall This place feels ancient and somehow out of time with the car park and the neon signs of a big supermarket surrounding it. The church is 19th century but this has been a place of worship for much longer. The dead have been buried here for centuries as is indicated... Continue Reading →

killed on wedding day

The murder of John Stewart, Lord of Lorn on his wedding day, the killing of his murderer Alan MacDougall in battle and a graveyard for the line of the legitimized bastard – the dramatic birth of the Stewarts of Appin.  At the beginning of the Clan Stewart of Appin was lust, maybe even love. It... Continue Reading →

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